Saturday, May 28, 2022

Denver Pickleball Player Reaches Sweet Resolution With City

A 71-year-old Denver man has reached a settlement with the city after being charged with a felony for drawing a pickupball court line on the floor of a gym with a permanent marker.

Arslan Gunny, known as the “Mayor of Pickleball”, faced a criminal mischief charge after making adjustments to the Denver Central Park Recreation Center’s gym floor. The city claimed it lost about $10,000 at taxpayers’ expense.

According to his attorney Hollind Hoskins, Gunney agreed to pay approximately $4,672 or about half of the estimated cost to the city to “re-screen” and remove the “coat” markings on the gym floor.

In return, the city agreed to drop the charges against Gunny and to return his revoked city parks and recreation center membership.

Arslan Gunnie, second from left, stands outside the courtroom with his wife Linda Gunnie (left), their lawyer, Holland Hoskins (second from right) and investigator Kirsten Palmquist.

Courtesy of Holland Hoskins

Denver District Attorney Beth McCann said her office was “delighted” to settle Pickles’ case.

Hoskins said that his client was “working as a generous volunteer” for the Parks and Recreation Department and was using a black Sharpie marker to refurbish “pre-existing” signs, which the staff called pickleballs. Created to designate line markers.

Gunny, she said, had “no intention” to damage the floor, and she has since apologized to the department.

“You had to walk around this gym to see these marks,” Hawkins said.

Hoskins later received estimates from a contractor that he claimed to have worked on the NBA gym floor.

That said, the contractor told him he could get the mark off the floor at “nominal cost,” but if the city claimed it cost $10,000, he would do the work for free.

“It’s clearly what I called the ‘pickleball shakedown,'” Hoskins said.

Sign on the gym floor of Denver Recreation Center.  The city claimed that 71-year-old Arslan Guni caused about $10,000 in damages.
Sign on the gym floor of Denver Recreation Center. The city claimed that 71-year-old Arslan Guni caused about $10,000 in damages.

Courtesy of Holland Hoskins

Hoskins and Gunny play a game of pickles after getting their membership back at the city’s parks and recreation facility.

The two also set up a GoFundMe account with a “mission to turn the negative into a positive” and raise money to repair the gym, she said.

According to Hoskins, any money over the cost of repairs will go toward the nonprofits of pickleball pros Simone Jardim and Jay “Gizmo” Hall.

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